I seem to be too short for cycling

Thursday guy

Active Member
I popped into my local bike shop and almost every single one was too big for me, even at their smallest frame size (18 inches) and setting the seat height lowest. I got on the bikes and I was told that I should be able to reach the ground on my tip toes on both feets while sat on the saddle, is this correct?

I'm between 5'4'' and 5'5'' by the way, and I can only touch the ground with both feets at the end of my toes. It felt a bit stretching and uncomfortable.

Also, silly question, but one of the bikes that seemed like it might fit me has the wheel size of 27.5 inches. But the tyres on them are very thick and wide. I was advised that if I got slimmer tyres (more similar to the ones on road bikes), then that would reduce the bike's height (from the seat's lowest position to the ground) by 1-2 inches, and therefore allow me to tip toe properly on both feets while sat down on the saddle. However, the wheel size of 27.5 inches is a bit niche, there are only 2 available on Halfords' website and they are both for mountain biking, whereas I want slimmer road-suitable tyres. Is it possible to fit a 26 inch tyre on them? And if not, can I fit on 26 inch wheels?
 

vickster

Legendary Member
What type of bike are you looking at and where? You can get smaller bikes, just because they didn't have them. A 51cm road frame shouldn't be too big for example, even a 48cm

It may sound daft, but if you are looking at smaller bikes, perhaps look at women's bikes, they aren't usually pink nowadays
 

Mrs M

Guru
Location
Aberdeenshire
LBS should have a smaller frame size than 18, presumably a mountain bike? Maybe best try a different shop?
Mr M and myself are shorter than you at 5'2.
My mountain bike was 16 inch and was a good fit for us both, although Mr M had the saddle lower as he has a wee biddy inside leg.
If you are looking for a bike with slimmer road tyres a hybrid would probably be a good choice, rolls along on the road and can off road a bit also.
 

welsh dragon

a permanent vacancy now exists
If your too small and I doubt that, look at womens bikes. There's nothing wrong with riding a womens bike. I'm 5' 3". I can't see how youre too small.
 

MikeW-71

Veteran
Location
Carlisle
Welcome!

Usually if the saddle is at the right height for pedalling, you should only be able to get the ends of your shoes to touch the ground unless the bike is leaned over a bit. However, if you need the saddle all the way down to achieve this, the frame is too big. In some cases and on some bikes, you won't even be able to do that.

What kind of bikes are you looking for? If you are looking at an MTB type, then 18 inches is not the smallest that they go. I'm 5'10" and ride an 18" MTB, which is the Medium size in most ranges. You aren't too short for cycling either. :smile:
 

mcshroom

Bionic Subsonic
A good guide is that, when you are sat on the saddle, you should be able to put your heel on the pedal with your leg straight. This will then mean that you are in a good position as you will have a slight bend in the knee.

I usually can't touch the floor without sliding off the saddle which on a road bike is fine. For a MTB you want to be a little bit lower.
 

Paul.G.

Just a bloke on a bike!
Location
Reading
My bike is the perfect size for me but I can only just toutch the ground with the very tips of my teos, one false move and I would be over. The only way I can stand over the bike is by slipping forward off the saddle, this to me is normal for a road bike.
 

Turbo Rider

Just can't reMember
Yep, defo not too short & tips of the toes is the best you should hope floor with regard to touching the floor with your bum parked on the saddle - just need to tilt to the side or find a curb to make a safe touch down, which might take some getting used to, but you will get used to it. Any LBS should be able to measure you properly for it though and they'd just sell you a child frame or lady frame if they needed to push you down a size.

As for the wheels, sounds like you need a hybrid or a road bike, if it's slim tyres you want.
 

Our connor

Active Member
I know where your coming from Thursday guy. I'm 5ft 3in tall and had hell of a time getting my first road bike. I visited 10 shops in nw England and not one had a small size in to try, one shop even asked for a £100 non returnable deposit to get one in.at the 11 attempt I found a shop with 2 in a trek and a giant , same price ended up buying the 47 cm framed trek it felt better on the test ride. Now bare in mind this was in May when you would think the shops would be full not at the end of season.
 
OP
Thursday guy

Thursday guy

Active Member
Thanks for all the answers. Its a road or hybrid which I'm looking for, as I'll be using it to go to places around the city.

Do you guys know if I can fit a 26 inch tyre on a 27.5 inch wheel? if not, can I fit on 26 inch wheels?
 
OP
Thursday guy

Thursday guy

Active Member
LBS should have a smaller frame size than 18, presumably a mountain bike? Maybe best try a different shop?
Mr M and myself are shorter than you at 5'2.
My mountain bike was 16 inch and was a good fit for us both, although Mr M had the saddle lower as he has a wee biddy inside leg.
If you are looking for a bike with slimmer road tyres a hybrid would probably be a good choice, rolls along on the road and can off road a bit also.
what does 'LBS' stand for?
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
That bike shop has been talking a load of gollocks. Find a good shop and they will be able to sort you out no problem. Sitting on the saddle your leg should be straight with the crank at its lowest point, this means you won't be able to put your feet on the ground when seated. No problem as you will slide off the saddle and sit astride the crossbar when stationary, just make sure you can plant both feet flat on the floor when you do this. Good luck.
 
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